Having been married only a year and a half, I’ve recently concluded that marriage isn’t for me. Now before you start making assumptions, keep reading. Seth & Kim Seth & Kim I met my wife in high school when we were 15 years old. We were friends for ten years until…until we decided no longer wanted to be just friends. 🙂 I strongly recommend that best friends fall in love. All will have good times. Nevertheless, falling in love with my best friend did not prevent me from having certain fears and anxieties about getting married. The nearer Kim and I approached the decision to marry, the more I was filled with a paralyzing fear. Was I ready? Was I making the right choice? Was Kim the right person to marry? Would she make me happy? Then, one fateful night, I shared these thoughts and concerns with my dad. Perhaps each of us has moments in our lives when it feels like time slows down or the air becomes still, and everything around us seems to draw in, marking that moment as one we will never forget. My dad giving his response to my concerns was such a moment for me.
With a knowing smile he said, “Seth, you’re totally selfish. So I’m going to make this really simple: marriage isn’t for you. You don’t marry to make yourself happy; you marry to make someone else happy. More than that, your marriage isn’t for yourself; you’re marrying for a family. Not just for the in-laws and all of that nonsense, but for your future children. Who do you want to help you raise them? Who do you want to influence them? Marriage isn’t for you. It’s not about you. Marriage is about the person you married.” It was at that very moment that I knew that Kim was the right person to marry. I realized that I wanted to make her happy; to see her smile every day, to make her laugh every day. I wanted to be a part of her family, and my family wanted her to be a part of ours. And thinking back on all the times I had seen her play with my nieces; I knew that she was the one with whom I wanted to build our own family.
Marriage 2 My father’s advice was both shocking and revelatory. It went against the grain of today’s “Walmart philosophy,” which is if it doesn’t make you happy, you can take it back and get a new one. No, a true marriage (and true love) is never about you. It’s about the person you love—their wants, their needs, their hopes, and their dreams. Selfishness demands, “What’s in it for me?”, while Love asks, “What can I give?” Some time ago, my wife showed me what it means to love selflessly.